Dear Monkey Butt,
Yep. I don't call you that all the time, but for now, its a funny name for a funny kid. And you are definitely a funny kid.
A few days ago, you had your 2nd birthday. We didn't have much fanfare, other than coming back from Walt Disney World--your second trip to Orlando, already added to your other trip to Disneyland. Do you realize you've had more Disney before 2 years old than many kids have in their life? You are a lucky kid.
And we are lucky parents, lucky to have you. God chose your Mommy and me to raise you, and I'd like to think we are doing okay.
Let me tell you a little about this year, thusfar... This was the year that the new Superman movie came out, "Man of Steel". I'm sure you've seen it by now--or maybe you haven't, because its kind of forgettable. Probably my favorite movies of 2013 include "Monsters University", which in our household you've no doubt seen a dozen times by the time you read this... "Iron Man 3", which I thought was a great flick, even though its had its haters... "Gravity", this space epic with Sandra Bullock... and, of course, "Fast & Furious 6", which is one of my three favorite films so far this year. You and I have already watched "Fast Five", though I'm pretty sure you don't remember a thing about it...
Music? Justin Timberlake had a great year with a new CD, though he hasn't released anything mindblowing, just good. Is he still awesome in 2022, when you are reading this? Hope so. "Royals" by Lorde was a big deal, as was Katy Perry's "Roar". Also, probably my favorite song of the year? "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke. You know that show that Mommy sometimes watches, "Growing Pains"? (no, The Lovely Steph Leann doesn't now, but I'm counting on it coming on at some point and her watching it). Yeah, the dad is Alan Thicke. Robin is his son. Maybe you should just steer clear of this song. And anything to do with Miley Cyrus, or at least, anything after "Party in the USA".
One of my favorite books this year is "Dr.Sleep" by Stephen King. Though you aren't allowed to read anything Stephen King until you are at least 16, so if this isnt' 2027 when you are reading this, skip this part.
|Taken in October of this year, in your long hair days.|
You love this park, as do I.
Is your mom still crazy about putting oils on you? Essential oils? That started in 2013 as well.
Okay, there is the yearly rundown... this was a big year for our family too, Campbell. In August, you were diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum... or as we liked to say, "You gots the aw-tism"
Honestly, I had no idea what that meant either, until that week you were diagnosed. We kind of knew it was coming, but your Pops and GG and Aunt Becky took it kinda hard. Your Granny Jan really had no idea what to make of it, and in a few weeks from this posting, we'll go to see her for Christmas, and we can tell her all we know.
What does that mean? Well, look at yourself now. I don't know when you are reading this, but I have 100% confidence that you are strong. You are handsome. You are kind. You are friendly. You are talented. You are funny. You are smart, much smarter than me (maybe as smart as your mom, though that's tough, cause she's pretty smart...). Your one of God's creations, crafted by His hands and given to us for your care. And the night you were officially diagnosed, you let us know it would all be okay.
This year has been difficult at times... but you learned to walk, and it was precious. Watching you surf the room from chair to chair, to the couch and then back to a chair, sometimes making it, sometimes splatting on your bum, was awesome. But you figured it out. I loved watching you pick up a puzzle, or a ring toy, or something that had to be learned, and watching you figure it out. You would work on it 'til you got it right. You haven't spoken a word yet (some in the family think you have said "eat", and you do make a "eat" sound when it comes to food, but given that you haven't said anything else, I think "eat" might be a stretch...)
You have, however, made lots of ma-ma-ma-ma-ma and ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba and "raspberry" sounds, and they are quite cute and hilarious. You also have this habit of going really high pitched in a loud shout when we are eating dinner in a restaurant. I think you know what you are doing, you evil genius, you.
I look forward to the day, soon, when we can laugh together. When we can play games together, when we can go to the zoo and you will point out animals and say words that almost make sense... I know your Mommy wants you to call her "Mommy" so bad she can't stand it... but I know you'll get here. Heck, you reading this now probably seems silly, because at this point, you've been talking for as long as anyone remembers. If my predictions are right, you probably won't shut up.
Just tonight, a few hours before I wrote this, your Mom said to me, "This has been quite a year for our family, hasn't it?" And I agree. Its been a roller coaster of emotion, of love, of tears, of disagreements and growing closer as a family.
I know this note has been all over the map, but there is so much to tell you... I just want you to know that we don't say "we have an autistic son"... we have "a son who deals with autism". Because you are not defined by Autism, and you never will be. You will be defined by your character, by how you treat people around you, how you respect the girls in your life, how you deal with conflict, how you love others, and how you follow Christ. Autism just happens to be something you will continue to climb over. Never forget that, Campbell, never forget that.
Anyway, happy 2nd birthday, Monkey Butt. Your mom and dad love you so, so much... but don't forget, as much as we all love you, God loves you more than all of us combined, times a bajillionty. And if you aren't following Him yet, come talk to me and we can discuss it.
I end this letter now, will close my laptop and go crawl in bed, and if I'm lucky, you'll gravitate towards me, wrap your arms around my arm and continue sleeping. Love you, kid.